Keeping the Peace
How well is the U.N. doing its job of helping the world stay at peace?
After six decades of promoting peace, the United Nations (U.N.) has gained the respect of leaders worldwide. But recent scandals have created doubts about the peacekeeping organization. Some observers wonder if the U.N. is still capable of leading the world toward peace.
The U.N. was created in 1945 in response to the horrors of World War II. Hoping to prevent a future world war, 51 nations got together and formed the U.N. Today there are 191 member state. Representative meet regularly, making decisions affecting world peace, economics, health and social issues.
The U.N. serves as a place for nations to peacefully work out their difference. This takes place through discussion and debate.
But the U.N. has also taken the leas in many other areas, from disaster aid to women’s rights. The organization has promoted democracy in places like Cambodia, Nicaragua and East Timor. It has given aid to more than 50 million refugees. U.N. agencies have provided safe drinking water to over 1.3 billion people. And the U.N. leads an effort to clear landmines from former battlefields.
Unfortunately, the good done by the U.N. has sometimes been overshadowed by scandals. In Africa, U.N. peacekeepers have been blamed for taking advantage of the every people they were sent to protect.
Some U.N. staff members have also been accused of taking bribes from Iraqi officials. A U.N. investigation found several members, as well as the secretary-general’s son Kojo Annan, guilty of wrongdoing. The report did not find Secretary-General Kofi Annan guilty. It did, however, criticize him for failing to make a through investigation into the matter.
Last year, the U.N. celebrated its 60th anniversary. The occasion prompted some people to reassess whether the organization is meeting its original goal. To date, the world has not experienced a third world war. Many would agree that the U.N. has helped to prevent it. In 2001, the U.N. received a Nobel Prize for its peace efforts.
But the secretary-general believes there’s still more to do. “Our mission is to assist people all over the world…to live better lives, in safety and dignity,” Annan said.
That’s a worthy goal for the future.
- bribe 賄賂 : The politician was found guilty of taking bribes.
- reassess 再次評估 : Ben reassess his teaching methods, and decided to make some changes.
- dignity 尊嚴;高尚 : Mr. Chen was a man of dignity and great wisdom.